Starting Monday, Toronto police will begin cracking down on distracted driving and drivers who block traffic during rush hour.
“Distracted driving continues to be a major contributor to deaths and injuries and collisions, including in particular, those involving pedestrians and cyclists, and it must become a thing of the past if we are going to achieve the objectives of Vision Zero,” Mayor John Tory said Tuesday, during an announcement at Toronto Police Traffic Services.
The announcement arrives on the heels of new provincial legislation imposing fines of $1,000 for a first distracted driving offence.
Drivers who block traffic during rush hour will also be ticketed and cars left unattended and blocking traffic will be towed.
The blitz will focus on Toronto’s downtown area.
Toronto police Supt. Scott Baptist said police are aware that drivers sometimes try to hide their phones in their laps, and police will be looking out for that particular thing — officers will be in marked and unmarked vehicles, on bicycles and riding streetcars in order to spot offenders.
“We all know that driving requires all our senses,” Baptist said.
Francine Kopun is a Toronto-based reporter covering city politics. Follow her on Twitter: @KopunF